Two Indian students on Arctic voyage to study warming

August 31st, 2008 - 2:18 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) Two Indian students are among an international group of high school children who will embark on an Arctic tour to study the impact of climate change in the northern ice fields through a series of artistic experiments and projects.The 28-member voyage “Cape Farewell Youth Expedition 2008″ includes students from Canada, Brazil, Germany, Ireland, Mexico and Britain.

The project, envisioned by British artist David Buckland, will bring together top scientists, artists, educators and high school students to raise awareness about climate change and to equip young people to become climate change ambassadors at home and abroad.

Shruti K. Neelakantan of Sri Sankara School in Chennai and Dhruv Sengar of Seth M.R. Jaipuria School in Lucknow will board the MV Akademik Shokalskiy at Reykjavik in Iceland Sep 7 to go to Iqaluit at Baffin Island in Canada Sep 20.

Shruti, a Class 12 student, believes that saving our planet is everyone’s responsibility, whereas Dhruv is currently trying to discover ways to reduce carbon footprints of an area.

They will develop science projects in climatology, oceanography, and bio-geography. Each genre will be accompanied by an art project in films, photography, fine arts, performing arts and literature on micro-issues related to impact of greenhouse gases and temperature rise on the Arctic ice sheets.

“The changes in climate will increase and become more unstable,” said artist David Buckland, a featured speaker at the Sep 4 launch of the event at the Ontario Science Centre.

“If we have learned anything (from past expeditions), it is that the forces that will be released against us will not be manageable,” said Buckland.

An art installation project “On Thin Ice: Youth Respond to International Polar Year” will be a part of the expedition.

“We will use science as the lens to inspire and actively engage people in new ways of seeing and understanding the world. The students’ responses to their remarkable journey and the changing landscape of the polar region will assist us in achieving this vision,” said Lesley Lewis, chief executive officer of the Ontario Science Centre.

Award-winning illustrator and author Genevieve Cote of Montreal and Colette Laliberte of the Ontario College of Art and Design will co-head the programme.

Students from across the world can participate online in the voyage by uploading data about their region such as local temperature and precipitation measurements or photographs of local landforms.

Warming is a major cause for concern in Arctic.

A new report “Arctic Climate Impact Science- An Update” says climate change is having a greater and faster impact on the Arctic than previously thought.

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